Some years ago, I decided to go paperless. What this means is that I don’t keep paper records for anything other than those documents which cannot exist in digital form. I was living in France at the time, planning to move to the UK, and I had about ten linear feet of records from my business. I thought it would be a waste to have to move those documents.
I bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap, and a copy of the first edition of Joe Kissell’s Take Control of Your Paperless Office. Once I figured out the process – scan everything, make sure you tag files consistently, and make backups (and more backups) – it was easy. Now, I’m fully paperless. (Again, for those documents where I absolutely don’t need to keep originals). To be honest, this is the best productivity change I’ve made in my life, and Joe’s book guided me through the process.
Take Control Books has just released the third edition of Joe’s great book, with up-to-date information about hardware and software, more info about useful apps, and a more in-depth discussion of file naming.
Here’s part of the publisher’s blurb about the book:
Joe first guides you through choosing your tools, including scanners and OCR (optical character recognition) software, devices and services for storing scanned documents, and apps to categorize, locate, and view your documents. Once you have your gear in hand, Joe shows you how to convert paper into digitized files and gives you ideas for how to organize your workflow. He explains how to develop an efficient approach that reduces the amount of time you spend pressing buttons, launching apps, and otherwise managing your war on clutter.
If you’ve already embarked on a campaign to reduce the amount of paper in your life, Take Control of Your Paperless Office has a chapter about reassessing your strategy to make sure you’re working as effectively as possible given recent changes in hardware, software, and services.
Plus, Joe discusses using iPhone apps to scan documents while you’re away from your office, creating a digitized image of your signature, and using an online fax service. He even covers switching to paperless billing and bank statements and relying on a paperless postal mail service.
Get Take Control of Your Paperless Office now. You’ll thank me.